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Posts Tagged ‘farmer’s market’

Yesterday I shopped one of our many wonderful farmers markets in Annapolis. My first visit of the season – and oh my goodness!! I always want to buy almost everything I see! From the peaches to the corn to the green beans to the bees wax candles and handmade earrings. Yes, the whole atmosphere of community makes me feel all warm and cozy inside, and those feelings weaken all my defenses.

So I have learned to take a limited amount of cash – and on my last purchase I am almost always digging into the last of my change. That plan is the easiest way for me to not buy more than I can eat.

Yesterday I found collards, corn, okra, cucumbers, and more. Not many tomatoes yet, so I’m guessing it must still be a little early for Maryland. Soon, though, with the rain we’ve had, I’m expecting some German Johnsons or Cherokee tomatoes. My favs!!! Unattractive little critters but the best tasting in my book (or kitchen).

There was one farmer that had both okra and collards, and as I was picking out the collards I wanted, the woman next to me going through the okra box asked me about collards. She didn’t know much about greens and didn’t know how to cook them. This woman, the farmer, and I had a lively conversation about greens: He liked his cooked with ham hock or fat back, I prefer mine with veggie oil. She likes bacon and wanted to try bacon in hers, and etc. etc. We laughed and just talked about collards!! Yes, good food people at the market.

She finished with the okra, but we were still talking, and an Indian couple walked up and started going through the okra box. Soon our conversation was ending, and I wished her well and told her I was going to get okra next. The couple heard me and the gentleman said, “Oh I’m sorry. Did we step in front of you?” I assured him it was fine, that I was having fun talking about collards when he walked up and did not mind waiting at all. He replied, “Well, thank you. I surely didn’t want to start trouble at the farmers market. After all, it is such a wonderful feeling of community here.” And then we shared a laugh or two.

He’s right. Here we were, two people who had grown up across the globe from each other, spending time around fresh food from our earth and with men and women who spend their time with their hands in this dirt (Yes. I believe “real” farmers still get their hands right down in there!). Such places bring us together with one of the major necessities for our survival. Nutrition. It’s a good place. A happy place. And I hope I never lose appreciation for such delicious morsels as wonderful fresh veggies from the earth and those that grow them for me.

And here are two pictures from my trip!

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This weekend I spent most of my time working on an article I hope to submit to a journal in a few weeks. That is just “submit”, I can only hope after submission that it will be accepted. I am expanding on a paper I wrote as an undergrad about a group of Welsh that migrated to Virginia in the 1800s to work in a slate quarry, comparing their lives in Wales and the quarries there with their new lives in Virginia. It has been fascinating to study, but rather difficult to write.

The Cymric language (Welsh Celtic) was the language of the land until the late 15th century when the English language spread more rapidly into the country. But in the last 20 to 30 years, Cymric usage has become more widespread as it has been added back into the Welsh educational system. So place names change a lot as I go from older books and maps, to more recent, and then to even more recent! But it has been like a big puzzle, and you can be sure I keep two atlases nearby so I can compare! I hope I have written this paragraph correctly. I had to look in a detailed dictionary to understand the difference between the words Gaelic and Celtic. And don’t ask me to tell you the difference now! I’m afraid I’ll have to check it out again!

My problem is that I should have taken four months to research and another four to write. I figured a week or so would be enough for the writing. Wrong! As I dig deeper into my resources to make sure I get each word and thought correct, it takes longer and longer. It’s fascinating and I’m loving it, but now the time constraints are driving me nuts!

So, you ask, why am I not writing on it now? Because I am taking a lunch break, and I want to tell you about the meals I have prepared this week! Oh my oh my. . . .another trip to the farmer’s market this past Saturday. I always get kale from the KSU student group. Absolutely scrumptious! And finally some wonderful, fresh, juicy, summer tomatoes. Not always perfect in size or shape, but surely the most tasty. I’ve fallen in love with small onions, tiny new cucumbers, tomatoes, salt and black pepper with a little balsamic vinegar. I must have that combo at least once a day! And squash. More squash that I cook in just a little water with more onions. Cook it until the water is just about gone and then I add a little butter to sorta fry it. I don’t fry it long because it is already done, so I don’t need too much grease. But I love the flavor when the water has cooked out of it. Oh my goodness!

Last week my black beans and rice tasted like I was sitting at a very expensive restaurant. All I needed was the white table cloth! A little cumin, chili powder, salt, black pepper, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Serve over brown rice and I’m a-smilin’! I like to use dried beans, and I always cook them the day before with olive oil, salt and pepper, dried minced onion, and a little molasses or turbinado sugar. I soaked some last night, cooked them this morning before I came to work, and tonight all I have to do is prepare my favorite cornbread recipe I got from Val. I use canned creamed corn in that. Oh my I am drooling right now! Wait, I need to go wipe off my keyboard. . . . . And I still have brown rice left from last week.

And my brother taught me how to make his killer tarter sauce. Made it last night, and I made enough to last awhile. And corn. Last night, like many nights I just ate it plain, no butter, no salt. But when I have more than one ear at a time (sigh. . . .that’s right often I’m afraid), I’m sure not to check my glucose reading the next morning. Why bother? It’s always high after I over-do carbs. Even if they are healthy high-fiber carbs, glucose level just goes up.

No okra this week. Bummer. I bought frozen instead and plain to make a tasty gumbo later this week using a recipe I brought with me from North Carolina.

Well back to my paper and writing about places like Gwynedd and Caernarfonshire (sometimes Caernarvonshire) and Portmadoc and Llanbedr. I cannot pronounce them, but I bet they are all really beautiful.

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